Welcome to All Saints Church, Witley

All Saints Church, Witley, Surrey

June: new growth all around us, so what?

I've been reflecting on the theme of growth that touches so much of life in June.

Starting with the great outdoors. Even after the rich early colour of Spring this year, the recent explosion of new life in the garden is still a bit of a shock. Instantaneously, we now have the constant hum of lawnmowers around the village locked into their desperate two weekly cycle. This almost industrial level activity testifies to a collective effort to keep nature at bay or at least manage its vociferous seasonal spurt. At All Saints, from Spring through to the end of Autumn, we arrange a monthly work party on Saturday mornings - to keep our churchyard trim, this being rather aptly named 'Green Gym'. Yet, whilst comprised of the most committed volunteers, it's still quite a tall order in the Summer months. But it's not just about the young shoots. There's a sense of deep-seated renewal around. I've been watching the rather arthritic limbs of my apple trees regain their vigour and transform within a week or so; observing their old joints rejuvenated in leaf and swaying enthusiastically in the wind. This is of course also a popular period to go on holiday and recharge the batteries. Taking time out in the enveloping warmth and vitality of this month is always a good idea.

In Church, we experience a similar mesmerising mix of new growth and renewal of the ancient patterns of things. The good weather is every year the joyous prompt for weddings and baptisms. To see the sun flood stained glass windows as a couple head down the aisle or to witness bright shards of light dancing on the water in the font as a new member is baptised are hugely enriching moments. Then, on Sundays we find ourselves journeying through the season of Easter - basking in the warmth of the resurrection light - as we head towards the festival of Pentecost; when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to the disciples that led to an amazing outpouring of spiritual energy and missionary action.

The essence of all these musings are captured by William Blake in his poem 'To Summer':

"O thou who passest thro' our valleys in
Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat
That flames from their large nostrils! thou, O Summer,
Oft pitched'st here thy goldent tent, and oft
Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld
With joy thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair."

James McKeran

Please click HERE to read the Parish Profile for All Saints Church, Witley.

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All Saints Church has a huge wooden door, which, while being very old and attractive in its own way can be a physical barrier to those who have never entered All Saints before - don't let it be like that. Turn the handle, push the door and come in, all are welcome. Inside you will find a building that is filled with the prayers of 1000 years, a wall painting that is 900 years old, a 700-year-old Lady Chapel with medieval stained glass, signs of the conflict in the 16th and 17th century with an unfinished memorial tablet in the sanctuary and several other family memorials. The 18th century put in a gallery which was removed by the Victorians who added so much more, including a whole aisle on the North Side. The Victorians with three generations of Chandler Vicars built the organ, the bell tower and the vestry. They refurbished the chancel ceiling, floor and altar and put up memorials to the eminent people of the day as they passed on. The beginning of the 20th century completed the collection of stained glass windows and introduced the pews we have now, instead of the previous box pews. All Saints is full of history reflecting the needs of the generations who have worshipped here before us. There have been many changes in the past few years which help us now to use the church on a daily basis for many different groups. There is a children's trail available with many interesting things to find out and see.

Please do come inside and explore and have time for yourself, the church is open in daylight hours. Or come and meet with others to worship or chat everyone is welcome.

If anyone would like to speak to James or Ann, please ring or email and we will endeavour to meet you as soon as we can.

The All Saints Parish Office, is in the grounds of Witley Infant School, opposite the Church.

Wishing you every blessing

James McKeran         Ann Fraser
                       James McKeran                                     Ann Fraser

The parish of Witley is made up of the villages of Witley, Brook, Wormley and Sandhills. The Parish Church of All Saints dates from about 1040 and is situated just off the main Petworth Road (A283) in Church Lane, opposite the White Hart public house. Witley CofE Infant School is opposite the church and has close links with it.

Apart from a regular pattern of worship on Sundays and Holy Days, the church serves the whole parish and after recent refurbishment is available every day for a variety of uses. The door is open in daylight hours for anyone who may wish to spend a quiet few moments or longer in the peace and quiet of this ancient building.

The mission of the church in Witley is to bring the love of God to all who live and work there. The church is open to all people, and here to serve the entire parish. Everyone is welcome at all services and other events and anyone is welcome to use the space in church for their own charitable or social events where appropriate. Click here for more information on using the church for your event.

If you are new to the area you are very welcome! There are a wide range of activities going on around the church that may interest you.

A team of Pastoral Assistants visit the housebound, take Communion to those who can't get to church for whatever reason, and generally help the clergy keep an eye on pastoral needs.

James or Ann would be pleased to talk with and welcome you. Enjoy the web-site!

Please feel free to click on the links above or on the right to find out more about us.

Be sure to visit our Parish News section which is updated weekly.

Our site offers documents in Adobe Acrobat format. If necessary, please click here to download the latest version.